"I will extend if they want, I'd like to stay longer" - Pep Guardiola pre West Ham Press Conference
Pep Guardiola's first pre-match Premier League press conference of the season ahead of the opener away at West Ham United; the boss discussed how settled he is in Manchester, what the situation is at left-back, Bernardo Silva's future, and the state of the squad ahead of the opener.
Firstly, the future is bright, but not certain:
"I don't need to change anything about my life, I'm happy. We have spoke with the club [about my future] - in middle or the end we will talk again and decide what is best..."
"I have said many times, I will extend, if they want it. I would like to stay longer, but at the same time I have to be sure. It is not the second season, third season - it’s many years already. I have to see how the players behave, I don’t want to be a problem. Sometimes if you extend and force things, it is not good."
"You have to be relaxed. This kind of situation will happen in a natural way. If you force it, it is not going well. We will see what happens during the season, how we feel and the best decision for the club is going to be taken."
Everything Pep said about Bernardo (it's a lot!):
"I said many times, I was more than satisfaction to train the guys these years. I was comfortable working with Aleks [Zinchenko], Gabriel [Jesus], Raheem [Sterling]. Three incredible characters. At the end, for the club, for the players, for the agents, many reasons. Sometimes you have to sell. For the desire for the players, I need people happy here, we try to do it together."
"I would love for Bernardo [Silva] to continue here, a very special player in the locker room. But I don't know what will happen. What happens will happen, if he stays is perfect, if he has to leave it's because football is like this."
"Players have desire and I'm not a person to stop a person desire in life. Football career is so short. I'm a small part of the club, I have to speak to the club, they decide and I say okay."
"I didn't say he'd leave. The answer was the same as last season. You ask me every week, I always say I want the best for the players. I want Bernardo [Silva] to stay. One hundred percent. But at the same time if you want to leave, have an offer, clubs come to an agreement. Common sense."
"He's an important player, special, but I don't know what will happen. We didn't get any offer, last season neither. Bernardo [Silva]'s ready, training well for Sunday."
"I talk a lot with Bernardo [Silva], with all of them, maybe because I'm getting old and we know each other quite well. I'm more relaxed as a manager with them, I know them. Their feelings, the good and bad moments. But not about this situation, if I have to tell him something, I tell him, but we don't have doubts about the situation. He's happy, engaged, he has a beautiful dog. He's happy here, what will happen will happen."
"Hopefully Bernardo [Silva] stays."
Left-backs, who needs them? City do:
"Nothing special [to update]. We are the same. Josh [Wilson-Esbrand] is there, Joao [Cancelo] is there, Nathan [Ake] can be there. Some surprises we can do. We will see, still we have 'til the end of the month, we will see..."
Walking away from transfer pursuits:
"There are a lot of players around the world, most can fit perfectly in the way we are as a team. The transfers are always difficult, maybe selling is more difficult than buy but the same time is an idea that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. It sometimes can be possible..."
New Manchester City captain?
"We still didn't do it."
New Manchester City penalty taker?
"Last season we improve. The quality of our penalties, in the past we miss a lot. Last season Riyad [Mahrez] was exceptional, he missed the last one but in general he was good. They [the players] will decide. As much the taker when you walk up, one decision, the rest is not important."
On the squad in general:
"It is what it is. We have shown in the last years we have a small squad and we are there in the last stages. We have a transfer window in winter where we can take something we cannot do now."
Passion to develop Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland?
"New players we always help them, it's how they adapt to the rest of the team. Important is the vibe they have, the relationships is most important. Not just these players, all the players I had since I arrive, they are at [Manchester] City, because they have quality."
Premier League is getting tougher:
"I have the feeling every time we start the press conference that this season is harder. I think next season cannot be harder, but it is. Every club is getting better, they have desires. Everyone. Not just one team, many teams do it well, the qualities and managers are exceptional. That's why the Premier League is the best [league in the world]."
"I don't know how many goals he will score and I don't care. As much as he is, does what he has done in his young career. We are not going to win for Erling [Haaland] or lose for Erling [Haaland], we have to be ourselves. He's quick, he's a guy who played ninety mins last week for the first time in five months, he's a big figure physically, maybe needs more time to get [used] to [the] conditions. If he has doubts he'll score goals, he will score goals, he has done every year. Just adapt the way he plays, and we will adapt the final third to him. I don't have any doubts but the goals he will score, I don't know..."
Mindset going into the new season:
"Never at the start we think to win the league. We don't need the perspective to see what we've done is massive. How the players move. The rivals, mainly Liverpool, we've won four in six years, we are incredibly proud. I'd like to say loud how good we've done. We travel tomorrow to London and do a good game in West Ham, always we struggle in beginning of the season. We try to avoid it, we have long weeks preparation, every week we get better. Be competitive, be consistent. I know what we can do. We want to make the next step in the way we play and this is the desire to do it."
"You're right [Manchester City and Liverpool can't afford to drop many points], the bar with both teams. For the thirty Premier League [seasons] nobody get more points than both teams. There are two [seasons this season], one before the World Cup [one after], you can't win it before but you can lose it. You have to start well, knowing that if we drop points you have thirty seven fixtures. We won two Premier Leagues one point ahead, we know we can win twelve/fourteen [games] in a row. Liverpool as well. You have to start well but also the feeling since we arrive, maybe we have a longer vacation than normal, the team I rely on them a lot. I see every training session, the guys are still there. How they're training every day, I see we're still there. The confidence I get is from the pitch, every training session. How incredibly focussed they are, so far is really there. We'll see, in the low moments how they behave, my job when they are low is to lift them."
Written by: @coIgcra
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